If you believe those upbeat, seductive advertisements, men only need to pop a pill to awaken their dormant sex life. Whether the problem is erectile dysfunction (ED) — the inability to maintain an erection for sex — or low libido, ED medications appear to be the quickest and easiest solution.
While these drugs work for most men, they are not right for everyone. ED drugs are relatively safe, but can cause possible side effects such as headaches, indigestion, and back pain. Plus, some men may not want their sex life dependent on regular medication, or simply can’t take them because of high or low blood pressure, or other health conditions.
Fortunately, there are some proven natural ways for men to manage their ED and increase vitality. Bonus: these strategies also can enhance your overall health and quality of life, both in and out of the bedroom.
Six ways to boost your sex life without medications
- Get moving. Research has shown that regular exercise is one of the best medicines for ED. One study of almost 32,000 men ages 53 to 90 found that frequent vigorous exercise equal to running at least three hours per week or playing tennis five hours per week was associated with a 30% lower risk of ED compared with little or no exercise. It doesn’t really matter how you move — even walking is great — as long as you keep moving.
- Eat right. Go bullish on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, while downplaying red and processed meat and refined grains. This type of diet lessened the likelihood of ED in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Another tip: chronic deficiencies in vitamin B12 — found in clams, salmon, trout, beef, fortified cereals, and yogurt — may harm the spinal cord, potentially short-circuiting nerves responsible